Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Innocence was a game that brought players a well designed horror themed adventure that also had a strong story to it. Though I was late to play, only when the game was updated for current consoles, the presentation was of such a high level it still stands as one of the prettiest games I’ve played on the Series X. Now that the sequel is out, we finally have a game that gives the original game some good competition.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is set as a direct follow up to the previous game with Amicia and Hugo now travelling with their mother and friend Lucas. Hugo’s affliction that connected him to the plague rats previously leads to another altercation and soon has everyone on the run again, trying to find a cure. Mechanically the game doesn’t deviate too much from it’s predecessor with its linear third person adventure gameplay and puzzle elements and while that might make the game sound unoriginal, A Plague Tale‘s strength comes in how its linear level design integrates with a strong story. The world they live in is a nasty place but Amicia will do whatever she can to help her brother and as you play you’ll want to help them on their way.
Visually the game is spectacular with some incredible scenery that makes for an endless supply of screenshots and desktop backgrounds. The changing landscapes, due to your travels, really help deliver on providing enough variety that there is always something new to see. And when the rats get involved it can quickly switch to the grotesque, showing you the devastation caused by them… maybe a few less screenshots desired at that point. Speaking of the rats there are a LOT of the critters, with waves of them pouring out and overwhelming everything in sight. On the audio side the voice acting continues to be at the same high standard but the music has to be given a lot of credit for helping to set a tone that creates an almost endless tension.
I do have a couple of negatives about the game. The first is that I could see players wanting a bigger world to explore will be disappointed with how linear this game is. While it does have a number of open areas, providing opportunities for hunting down hidden caches and collectables, most of your time is moving from one section to the next without the chance to turn back. Another is that because the games pace is normally so slow that when there are moments requiring quick reflexes it’s easy to drop the ball and start dying. It was an issue that was there in the first game too but can feel magnified here during sections where Amicia has to unleash on a large number of enemies.
Regardless of any criticism, A Plague Tale: Requiem delivers on providing another high quality experienice in a genre that the Xbox platform is often criticised as lacking in. While that should help draw in a lot of curious players, it’ll be a excellent presentation and strong story that should keep them playing until the end.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is out now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation. Played on an Xbox Series X via Game Pass.